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Board Meeting - August 3

At its August 3 regular meeting, the RISD Board heard informational presentations about the accountability system, projected school ratings and the proposed construction of an operations center as part of a consolidation of facilities and support services.

2015 Accountability & Projected Ratings
The Board heard projections of 2015 accountability ratings, based primarily on STAAR results from the 2014-15 school year (see June story on 2015 STAAR results). Because new mathematics standards were being implemented last school year, math STAAR results were not included in ratings. RISD's performance in mathematics is traditionally strong, and the exclusion of STAAR math results in grades 3-8 is expected to have a negative impact on school ratings under the accountability system.

The district and 50 RISD schools are expected to be rated "Met Standard" for 2015, while three campuses are expected to be rated "Improvement Required (IR)." Two of the three schools expected to be rated IR, Carolyn G. Bukhair Elementary and RISD Academy, would have been rated Met Standard if mathematics results had been included in the accountability system. The district is pursuing an appeal with the Texas Education Agency on behalf of those two campuses.

"STAAR results are the backbone of school ratings in Texas," said Dr. Waggoner. "While opinions among stakeholders about standardized assessments vary, we view the tests as a valuable tool that helps us determine if a student has mastered the curriculum. Some of our results this year are disappointing, and we have been evaluating curriculum, programs, services, and support systems.

"While we want our students and schools to be successful under any objective measure, the true value of an assessment system lies in providing useful information to educators to support individual student achievement. We will continue to evaluate our accountability results and will allocate resources to support both teachers and students.

"We have high expectations in RISD and we're not here to make excuses. We are meeting this challenge head on and I’m very confident we will be successful.”

Distinctions, which are available to schools and districts in academic subjects based on student performance compared to peers across the state, will be released by the state along with district and school ratings on Aug 7.

See the 2015 accountability presentation
See projected 2015 school ratings

Operations Center

The Board heard information and viewed a preliminary site plan related to the proposed construction of an operations center on vacant district property between Abrams Road and Greenville Avenue. The facility would provide additional functional space for support operations and consolidate a number of functions currently housed at different locations around the district, including Facility Services, Child Nutrition, Bond Project Management, Purchasing, Testing/Accountability, Textbooks, Warehouse, Print Shop, and Transportation.

Part of the consolidation plan would include the closure and sale of the aging district facility on Security Row, which would otherwise require repair and construction. The operations center would utilize 14.6 acres of the existing 43 acres owned by the district at the location across Greenville Avenue from Restland Cemetery.

The district is filing a zoning request with the City of Richardson, and if approved, could potentially begin construction as soon as February of 2016, with first phase completion in June of 2016 and final phase completion in May of 2017.

The facility would be funded with existing funds and would not be part of a potential 2016 bond package.

Preliminary planning includes consideration of surrounding property owners through inclusion of screening walls, district vehicle traffic not utilizing residential side streets, and thoughtful placement of facilities and equipment on the site. The operations center site would not include the district's 140 bus parking facility that would continue to operate from its location approximately 1/2 mile away on Buckingham Road.

Learn more about the August 3 Board Meeting

Austin Aeschbacher photo

Texas PTA Elementary Teacher of the Year

Skyview Elementary's Austin Aeschbacher has been named the 2015 Texas PTA Elementary Teacher of the Year. Austin teaches music and currently serves as PTA Treasurer.


Principal Announcements

The following principals will be new to their campus for the upcoming school year. Mr. Henry Hall has been named new principal at Berkner High School. Mr. Hall comes to Berkner from West Junior High Arts & Technology Magnet, where he has served as principal since 2008. Prior to that, he was the senior principal at Richardson High School. He has 17 years of experience in RISD and began his career as a classroom teacher at West Junior High. Mr. Hall has a master's degree in Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education/Biology from Louisiana State University, Shreveport.

Ms. Von Ensley has been named new principal at Springridge Elementary. Ms. Ensley comes to Springridge from Forest Lane Academy, where she has served as principal since 2010. She has 18 years of experience in education and began her RISD career as a classroom teacher at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet.

Ms. Ensley has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Southern University and A&M College.

Ms. Catherine Kelly has been named new principal at Mark Twain Elementary. Ms. Kelly comes to Mark Twain from RISD Academy, where she has served as an assistant principal for the last two years. She has 15 years of experience in education and began her RISD career as a bilingual teacher at Dover Elementary.

Ms. Kelly has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor's degree in Biology from Austin College.

Ms. Lariza Liner has been named new principal at Forest Lane Academy. Ms. Liner comes to Forest Lane from Irving ISD's Schulze Elementary, where she has served as principal since 2011. She has 13 years of experience and began her career as a classroom teacher.

Ms. Liner has a master's degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from University of North Texas and a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston.

henry hall photo

Henry Hall

von ensley photo

Von Ensley

catherine kelly photo

Catherine Kelly

lariza liner photo

Lariza Liner

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District Calendar

  • August 17 - Board Study Session
  • August 18-21 - Teacher Preparation & Training
  • August 24 - First Day of School
  • September 7 - Labor Day Holiday

Coming Up

  • Elementary Registration Begins - August 12
  • Calams Memorial Scholarship Benefit Fundraiser - August 22
  • RISD College & Career Fair - September 19
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Reminder - Focus Coming in the Fall

RISD is in the process of implementing a new student information system called Focus for the 2015-16 school year. This extensive effort will impact parents who are accustomed to accessing their child's grade and attendance information through Star Portal, which will be discontinued and replaced by Focus to provide this function for parents.

Information about Focus account creation will be available to parents in the Fall.

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